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The Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund Gala Heads to Cannes

Occurring during the Cannes Film Festival, the gala offers a platform to spotlight the fund’s mission

by Lark Gould

May 13, 2024

Nelson Mandela / Photo: Louise Gubb/Corbis Historical/Getty Images

The Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund is making waves at Cannes this year with a celebrity-studded gala that has seen such supporters as Richard Branson and Denzel Washington show up for a cause that aims to promote the safety and well-being of the world’s children. Founded in honor of the South African freedom fighter and global advocate for peaceful resistance, the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund began in 1995 as the fulfilment of a pledge Mandela made during his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech in 1993. Since that time, the fund has been pivotal in programs promoting health care, pediatric hospitals, schools, women’s empowerment groups, economic resilience ladders and youth leadership corridors in remote and besieged places. Working with an impressive list of partners, Fund CEO Dr. Linda Ncube-Nkomo says its impact has been inspiring.

“The fund’s programs have impacted thousands of children of South Africa over the years and we need to be able to demonstrate the life-changing work that we do,” she says. “We are currently in discussions over what we need to do now to be in existence and relevant after this generation of leaders is gone.” Among the fund’s projects is the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital, a pediatric center in Johannesburg.

Occurring during the Cannes Film Festival, the gala offers a platform to spotlight the fund’s mission. Rachel Chanel Clarke, who heads the Trigo Networks agency in Beverly Hills, California, is assisting the fund with publicity and performative backing to ensure that these issues stay present and in front of leaders and talent.